The University of Arizona

Politics of the green economy in Russia's European North

Vladislava Vladimirova

Abstract


Abstract The global drive for a greener economy generates controversy in Russia, a country that is dependent on export of raw mineral resources. Debates are most heated in relation to the North, where resource extraction takes place. In an environment of high unemployment and low income ecological issues are priority for a few environmentalists. Russian politicians, who support the green economy in international fora, instead emphasize economic development at home and show little interest in environmental protection. This article focuses on the controversies over policies from the perspective of environmentalists and members of local communities in Murmansk Region who are struggling to establish a national park in the Khibiny Mountains. The initiative has been presented by some environmentalists as a contribution to the green economy, but it also demonstrates mechanisms of nature governance in Russia, as well as the limited possibilities for bottom-up participation of NGOs, scholars, and the indigenous community. The article also situates the green economy in Russia within critical analysis of the global green economy, which reveals common trends and problems. Russia replicates the common overemphasis on economic development and commoditization of nature rather than radical reformation of nature's value and use. Key words: Green Economy, Russia, Nature Conservation, Arctic, Indigenous Sami, Murmansk Region

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2458/v24i1.20810